Cannabis is a Class B illegal drug in its organic plant form. The active ingredients in cannabis are identified as THC and CBD. THC is the active ingredient that gets you high and contributes to hallucinations, psychosis and mania. CBD is the active ingredient that calms you down and has anti-inflammatory, muscle-relaxing and pain-relieving properties.
It is Cannabis and THC that are illegal. CBD products are classified as food supplements and are, therefore, legal and available to the public. These products may contain traces of THC but must be below a specified limit to be permitted to sell. CBD products may also be licensed as medicines. CBD products licensed as medicines have undergone rigorous safety and efficacy testing to determine their use in treating certain medical conditions.
Medical cannabis and CBD are only available by prescription from a specialized hospital doctor and ONLY to treat rare conditions or side effects. CBD oil supplements can be purchased from registered pharmacies and retailers.
Obtaining cannabis or THC through other means is illegal, even for medical purposes.
Currently, the only legal use of cannabis (extract) in the UK is treating moderate to severe spasticity in multiple sclerosis. This is only under specialist initiation and only for a select few cases where all other treatments have failed.
Many studies are currently investigating the many reported health benefits of CBD, which include anxiety, chronic pain and help with insomnia. While there are promising findings and lots of anecdotal evidence, more research is needed before CBD can be recommended as a medicinal treatment for those conditions. In the meantime, CBD products on the market can be used to self-treat these conditions based on individual choice or advice from your doctor.
CBD can benefit patients with their conditions, but patients are advised to be aware of the possible risks and harm with CBD products as THC has been shown to induce psychosis and cause suicidal thoughts. Unregulated products can contain more THC than the recommended limit. Products that meet FDA recommendations and from registered and trusted sellers should only be purchased.
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